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Fishbowl Helmet

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So how come the woman doesn't need a spacesuit to go with her helmet?

Henry McGee: Will he be able to live in it?
Fred Scuttle: I should think so, sir. Our goldfish lived in it for three weeks.

Want to be able to breathe in outer space or underwater? Easy — just place a fishbowl or a similar object on your head, and you're good to go. (To count for this trope, these don't have to be literal fishbowls — they just need the basic appearance of one.)

Commonly seen in older works of fiction featuring astronauts and aquanauts so characters' faces could be clearly seen. NASA astronauts wore fishbowl helmets throughout the Apollo program, although this was eventually abandoned in favor of sturdier designs with bubble face plates.

Not to be confused with Mobile Fishbowl. Compare Artificial Gill. For characters who don't even need a fishbowl, see Batman Can Breathe in Space and Super Not-Drowning Skills. If somebody tries a space walk wearing nothing but this, it qualifies as a Space Mask.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Space Adventure Cobra: In "Magic Doll", the alien Jeeta looks like a fish-headed humanoid with a glass helmet filled with water, since he's aquatic. It's later revealed that Jeeta can removes the helmet entirely with the "head" still inside, which is an independent fish-like creature, turning it into a literal fishbowl. The headless humanoid body is described as a nearly brainless host, with which the fish has a symbiotic relationship when on dry land.


    Comic Books 
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes!: When the Legion first appeared, Cosmic Boy was wearing a glass globe of a helmet. It was the '50s and he was from space and the future. Later incarnations of him and the Legion have invisible means of maintaining a breathable atmosphere for themselves when needed.
  • Supergirl storyline "The Super-Steed of Steel": When Supergirl wants to go to Zerox, a planet where her powers will not work, Superman gives her an astronaut helmet which looks right like a fishbowl.
  • The Smurfs: Dreamy Smurf wears this as Astro Smurf in the eponymous story "The Astro Smurf". In a one-page gag where Dreamy visits Smurfette, Dreamy accidentally mistakes Smurfette's fishbowl for his helmet and leaves her house wearing her fishbowl on his head.
  • Spider-Man:
    • The villain Mysterio is infamous for the glass helmet he wears that looks like a fish bowl. Although it's used more to protect himself from his own hallucinatory gas, it also serves to hide who's in the suit, useful if the man inside isn't the real deal.
    • Mysterio's parody from Earth-7840 (the 'Mazing Man-Spider world) IS a fish swimming inside the fishbowl helmet, called "Fish-Terio".
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The red Hazmat Suit that Wonder Woman wears to protect herself from dangerous levels of radiation has a clear fishbowl helmet.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield wears one of these while pretending to be an astronaut, much to Jon's frustration about his missing goldfish that the fishbowl used to house.

    Fan Works  

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Mysterio wears a higher-tech version of his traditional helmet, shaped like a sphere, which can retract around his neck. It turns out to actually be one of his holograms, but he does have a real helmet as a piece of his mocap outfit.


    Live-Action TV 
  • In a skit of The Benny Hill Show, Hill as Fred Scuttle is being interviewed, and brings on little Jackie Wright wearing a giant fishbowl as part of his space uniform.
    Henry McGee: Will he be able to live in it?
    Fred Scuttle: I should think so, sir. Our goldfish lived in it for three weeks.
  • In one of the funniest sequences in the entire history of a very funny show, The Beverly Hillbillies had Jethro wanting to be an astro-nut (sic). Jed says that it's ok, "That boy ain't got nothin' in his head but space" to which Granny cracks up, and Jed says "Let me put that another way." Then Jethro walks clumsily past them, wearing aluminum foil wrapped around his body to simulate a space-suit, a television antenna strapped to his back to simulate his communications system, and a literal fish-bowl as a helmet. Granny and Jed watch him stagger across the room while the studio audience is laughing hysterically, and as he leaves, Jed says, "You know, I think I'll just let one stand."
  • In Captain Video, the spacemen's helmets looked like inverted fishbowls. Given the notoriously low budget of the series, they might well have been.
  • The Goodies on their trip to the Moon had a goldfish swimming around inside their helmet. Then Bill's helmet becomes an over-inflated balloon helmet when he turns up the oxygen too high.

  • Analog:
    • The September 1930 cover has aliens with a glass sphere on their heads fighting humans without any helmet.
    • On the September 1931 cover, there are two people in shiny spacesuits that are wearing clear helmets with full range of vision while fighting in space.
    • On the December 1939 cover, there are four people in the foreground with bubble-shaped clear helmets with a tube in the back, like a deep-sea diving suit.
    • The April 1940 issue, on page 73 for "The Treasure Of Ptakuth", features three people in spacesuits, each wearing a bell-shaped clear helmet, with tubes in the back that connect to an external pack.
    • The April 1940 issue, on pages 123 and 127 for "Admirals Inspection", features a spacewalk where the cosmonaut wears a jar-shaped glass helmet that secures around the shoulders.
    • The cover of the July 1940 issue has two light-skinned humans wearing grey space suits with a bell-shaped glass helmet that attaches to their shoulders.
    • The cover of the September 1940 issue has tiny figures next to a telescope, with a bulb around their heads indicating a clear helmet.
    • The January 1941 issue has an image on page 103, the first page of Manly Wade Wellman's "Lost Rocket". In this image, a cosmonaut in outer space is wearing a jar-like helmet that is completely clear in all directions.
    • The April 1941 issue has an image on page 71, part of Harry Walton's "The Scrambler". In this image, a bunch of people on a space walk are wearing helmets as round as a fishbowl.
    • The June 1941 cover has a character wearing a clear helmet over a full-body protective gear suit (useful against chemical warfare, but not space).
  • Super-Science Fiction:
    • The December 1956 issue has a man wearing a full-body metal-looking diving suit on land. The helmet is a bubble shape that rises from the clavicle on all sides.
    • The February 1957 issue has a woman wearing what looks like clear plastic over her whole body, with wires and filters built into it to suggest an advanced anti-contamination outfit.
    • The April 1958 issue has two men in grey spacesuits with a bubble for a helmet. You can clearly see that their eyes are closed and they appear to be unconscious.
    • The October 1958 issue has several men underwater, wearing swim trunks, scuba tanks, and a bubble for a helmet.
    • The April 1959 issue has three men in spacesuits that use completely round and clear helmets.

  • In a filk song titled "Rocket Ride", Tom Smith mentions the desire for a bubbled helmet matting down his hair as the ground gives way to the open air.

  • In the Thanks A Lot Milton Jones episode "Space Age in Aisle Three", when Milton and his friends are trying to acquire a space helmet, one suggests that Milton's fishbowl may have the answer. Milton protests that even if his fish did own a space helmet, it would be goldfish-sized. When it's clarified that he should put the bowl itself on his head, he says, "But I'd drown!"

    Video Games 
  • In Everybody Edits Flash, the Fishbowl Helmet, whose design was originally used for the Astronaut appears as a fishbowl with metal ridges. The Flavor Text implies that it's just pretending to be an astronaut.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, a fishbowl is one of three components needed to craft makeshift scuba gear.
  • In Metal Slug 3, during the space level, if the Astro Slug gets destroyed and the player is forced to bail, they will then continue fighting Martians while wearing a fishbowl helmet attached to an oxygen tank.
  • In MDK2, Professor Hawkins, a scientist who works through MacGyvering all kinds of available items, uses a fishbowl as a helmet (a real fishbowl — the fish was sent out a few minutes earlier to override some underwater controls) and two horseshoe magnets as boots, in order to cross the space between two sections of his ship.
  • The spacesuits portrayed in OPUS: Echo of Starsong are all fairly skintight affairs with big round fishbowl-like helmets that keep the characters faces clearly visible.
  • RuneScape has a quest ("Recipe for Disaster") that has the player turn a glass fishbowl into a diving helmet for an extended dive.
  • In the VGA remake of Space Quest 1, Roger Wilco has to don a blue spacesuit with a helmet like this at the start of the game, otherwise exiting the Arcada's airlock without it results in an explosive end for Roger. Later in the game, he also takes the helmet off to use objects or talk to NPCs on planet Kerona.
  • Subnautica: You can find a poster with a picture of a kitten wearing a fishbowl helmet, and the slogan KEEP CALM.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • In Super Mario Sunshine, Mario wears one during the missions "Red Coins in a Bottle", "Eely-Mouth's Dentist" and "The Red Coin Fish". The helmet doesn't allow him to breathe underwater forever, though, it just slows down the rate the Oxygen Meter depletes.
    • In Super Paper Mario, Mario and his party need one (minus the fish originally occupying it) to be able to breathe in space. Yes, one. Even though there's three characters in Mario's party (at the time), they apparently only need to breathe when they're the active character. It even changes size depending on who's wearing it.
  • Inverted in Terraria. Wearing a fishbowl in the helmet slot not only doesn't allow you to breathe underwater, but instead drowns you even in land unless you have a Gills potion handy or can turn into a merfolknote  with the Neptune's Shell accessory. You can wear one as a vanity item without the inconvenience of drowning.
  • Turbo Pug 3D: You can put a fishbowl space helmet on your pug before beginning a run.
  • Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders: Going a bit more literal than usual, Zak McKracken has to jury-rig a homemade space suit, and he uses a literal fishbowl as a helmet to go with his scuba wetsuit. It helps a little that he doesn't actually journey into space proper, he teleports to Mars and walks about its surface.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Mr. Freeze's containment suit features one, from "Heart of Ice" all the way to his final appearances in The New Batman Adventures. It's made of strong glass, but thermal shock can break it.
  • In the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers episode "Out to Launch", Ditzy Genius mouse Gadget Hackwrench constructs a spacesuit from a rubber glove and a glass jar. Plausible, in that Gadget spent less than a minute outside a pressurized spacecraft.
  • Cleopatra in Space: From episode "Rescue!", Wodger is another fish alien swimming in a fishbowl atop a robotic body. When said robotic body is blown up, the surviving fishbowl is shown to be perfectly round with no visible opening.
  • There's an episode of Family Guy where a black hole is supposedly about to destroy the world, and Mayor West decides to retaliate by attacking space; he dons a jetpack, then dumps a fishbowl and puts it on his head.
  • Josie and the Pussycats: Sebastian the cat plunks an actual fishbowl over his head in order to rescue Josie and the Pussycats from prison capsules on the ocean floor. Thanks to Cartoon Physics, this works.
  • In the Magnificent Muttley episode "The Astromutt", Muttley daydreams he's an astronaut exploring a planet ruled by Dick Dastardly. When Muttley wakes from his daydream, he's using a fishbowl as a helmet.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Sparkle's Seven", Pinkie's Imagine Spot has her and Gummy wearing spacesuits with the helmets looking like fishbowls. Later, she put on actual fishbowls on her head and Gummy's as she's planning to go to space on the Friendship Balloon.
  • In The Smurfs episode "Dreamy's Pen Pals", the sequel to the Animated Adaptation of "The Astro Smurf", Brainy and Clumsy also wear fishbowl helmets along with Dreamy as they "visit" the planet of the Swoofs a second time.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Sandy wears one so that she can survive underwater. Although she does wear a suit, it looks more like a space suit than scuba gear, and as shown in the episode "Pressure", it doesn't really seem to do anything; it's the helmet that matters. When she takes it off to prove a point (and fails), she saves herself by putting a pickle jar on her head.
    • Inverted with SpongeBob and Patrick. When they visit Sandy's treedome, they have to wear fishbowl helmets filled with water. Sometimes they don't.
  • Toon Bops:
    • Santa Claus wears one in "It's Christmas!" to deliver Christmas presents to a shark.
    • Miranda the Panda wears one in "Miranda the Panda and Mark the Shark" when she's underwater.

    Real Life 
  • The Apollo/Skylab A7L featured a fishbowl helmet. For moonwalks and spacewalks, astronauts wore an additional visor assembly on top of that.